March, 2020

Transplant Games News!

COVID-19 Update

There continues to be wide-spread concern over the Corona Virus health crisis, and there is plenty of coverage every day in the news. Recently the International Olympic Committee issued a statement that this Summer's Olympics in Japan are still on so that makes two major events for which to be excited.

As we reported earlier, we are still in full planning mode and are closely monitoring the situation. In the meantime, we are encouraging everyone to follow the advice of your doctors and make common sense decisions for you and your loved ones.

See you in July.
Introducing the Lyrics for Life Semi-Finalists

We would like to congratulate the semi-finalists who will be competing in the Lyrics for Life competition at the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games! Selected from video audition submissions, we look forward to hearing these individuals amazing voices in July!

Ryan Roby and Jeff Richards - Team Philadelphia
Lisa McIntosh - Team Philadelphia
Diana Awad - Team Philadelphia
Kristin Christensen - Team Nebraska
Greg Dove - Team Florida
Wayne Taake - Team Transplant St. Louis
Jason Didner - Team Liberty
Carolyn Darmiento - Team Liberty
Patrick Wilkerson - Team Texas
Omar Garriot - Team Virginia
Jameka Crooks - Team South Carolina
Mallory Wells - Team Iowa
Steve Baum - Team Tennessee Donor Services
Jackie Scolaro – Team Ohio
Valerie Fons – Team Wisconsin
Paisly Gay – Team Kentucky
Common Registration Topics/Issues

  • Due to a system constraint, competitors must complete full payment before selecting their sports. There are helpful step by step guidelines on the registration page on the TGA website to assist you. https://www.transplantgamesofamerica.org/registration.html
  • Competitors must be pre-registered for any competition in which they wish to compete.
  • Donor Families fall under the non-competitor registration pricing. They should select their registration type as “Donor Family Member” during registration. They can then select the competitions they would like on the special event selection page.
  • The “No Events Available” error message indicates that registration was started but not completed. There is a blue button in the top right corner that says, “CHECK OUT”. When selected, it will take you to the cart to complete registration.
  • "Do I have to register?” It would be in your best interest to register. The majority of TGA events will require an official TGA credential obtained through registration. Please note that in order to use TGA provided transportation services, you must have a credential obtained through registration. 
Top 10 Competition Rule Misconceptions

  1. Partner Sports: TGA rules restrict Division One Athletes from partnering with Division Two Athletes for any doubles competitions. Partners must be from the same division, as well as from the same TGA Team.
  2. TGA Team Member: Competitors must be part of a TGA Team to be eligible for any doubles or team competitions.
  3. Mixed Doubles: Mixed doubles partners must be a male and female pairing from the same division and same team.
  4. Team Sports: The team sports of Basketball and Volleyball are only eligible for solid organ recipients (Division One Athletes).
  5. Competition Entries: Competitors are only allowed to enter one sport per day with the exception of the 5K, Basketball and Volleyball.
  6. Competitor Eligibility: Competitors must have donated or received their transplant on or prior to October 18, 2019. (Individuals must be 9 months post-transplant to compete).
  7. Ballroom Dancing: A Competitor’s partner can be anyone they choose (Competitor or Non-Competitor). However, only the eligible competitor(s) will medal. If a competitor’s partner is a non-competitor, the non-competitor will not receive a medal.
  8. Swimming and Track & Field: There is no limit to the number of individual events within track and field and swimming for registered competitors in those sports. 
  9. Cornhole: Cornhole is a singles competition for youth and a doubles competition for adults.
  10. Partners and Age Groups: In doubles events that are age-categorized, if the members of a pair are in different age groups, the pair will be classified in the younger age group. If one of the players is under 18, the pair will play in the adult category.

Transplant Games App

The Transplant Games of America has officially released its TGA App! You can download the app for free by searching “Transplant Games of America” in the Apple App Store for iPhones or the Google Play Store for Android phones. The app will be a useful resource leading up to the 2020 Games, during the Games and even after the Games. Be sure to check it out and download it now!
Youth Pin Design Contest

Calling all youths! The Transplant Life Foundation is holding a contest to design a lapel pin celebrating donation and transplantation. The winning design will be used to create a limited number of actual pins that will be passed out at the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games in New Jersey, July 17-22. Pin designers must be 13 years or younger to participate. All submissions must be received by April 15, 2020. See below to view all the rules and where to submit your entry. 

2020 TGA Venue Updates

American Dream, site of the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games TGA Village, just opened their DreamWorks Waterpark! Drop through the canopy of Madagascar’s legendary Baobab tree; Swirl through your favorite ogre’s swamp with Shrek; Find your inner Dragon Warrior with Kung Fu Panda; Fly with How to Train Your Dragon; Ride the waves with some of DreamWorks Animation’s memorable characters! To find out more visit:

TransplantNATION Pre and Post Transplant Photo Spread

In honor of Donate Life Month, next month, TransplantNATION would like to do a photo spread showing the contrast between life pre and post transplant. Please provide only two photos, one representing life pre-transplant and one now, post-transplant. Follow the link below to submit your photos.

Honor the Gift Campaign Update

The Honor the Gift Coalition celebrates the Senate’s bipartisan introduction of the Immuno Bill. Now that the Immuno Bill has been introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, we call on every member of the kidney and transplant community to take a stand for recipients, donors and donor families – it’s time for all of us to contact our members of Congress in support of this legislation. Together, we can protect kidney transplant patients, save lives and honor the gift of donors and donor families. In addition, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the legislation will result in significant savings for the Medicare program.

Any help you can provide in getting the word out, would be much appreciated! There is a 10-week window to get the Immuno Bill passed. Contact your members of Congress now to ask that they support this life-saving legislation! #HonorTheGift https://bit.ly/35S9T9K
Golden Gate Relay

For the past 25 years, during the first weekend in May, runners and walkers have journeyed from the vineyards of Napa Valley, through Sonoma and Petaluma, across the Golden Gate Bridge to the beach in Santa Cruz, to increase awareness of the 125,000 Americans waiting for organs. In the newly named Rotary Golden Gate Relay (RGGR), the transfer of the baton from runner to runner symbolizes the transfer of an organ from donor to recipient. Join this journey across the Golden Gate Bridge on May 2-3, 2020. Participants must register by March 31. To register or find out more about this event please visit:

Passing of Robert Skaggs
( June 23, 1936 to February 20, 2020) 

On February 20, 2020, we lost a longtime participant and supporter of the Transplant Games. Twenty-four years ago, Bob Skaggs received a kidney transplant due to polycystic kidney disease. Bob followed a meticulous lifestyle to maintain his health and honor his lifesaving donation, allowing him to spend many additional years with family and friends. A large part of his health regimen was a daily mile swim (over 100 miles a year). Bob was a Transplant Games athlete representing Team New Mexico, and a U.S. Transplant team member who participated in various World Transplant Games. Bob won 70 medals over a 24 year period (39 golds, 22 silvers, and 9 bronze medals).


TransplantNATION magazine’s Passages page pays tribute to many milestones reached by individuals in our community. We intend to share news of births, marriages, anniversaries, transplant anniversaries, deaths, and any other significant announcements that celebrate the gift of life or acknowledge the support an individual(s) has given to the organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation world.

If you have a tribute you would like to share in an upcoming Passages page, please send your information (35-75 words or less) to Josh Sweedyk at 

Transplant Life Foundation and Transplant Games of America would like to thank you for your support of our mission. The work that we do to educate the public and bring awareness about donation and transplantation would not be possible without your help and commitment.